Bills to ban gay marriages planned

Thursday, January 8th 2004, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Veteran state Rep. Bill Graves wants to make doubly sure that a gay marriage never is legally recognized in Oklahoma.

Graves, R-Oklahoma City, said Thursday he will file two measures taking aim at gay marriages and civil unions.

One would amend a 1997 state law that already bans gay marriages and the other would change the Oklahoma Constitution to guarantee that homosexual weddings cannot be legally recognized.

Graves' bill would not only outlaw gay marriages and civil unions between persons of the same gender, but would declare that they are ``repugnant to the public policy'' of the state.

He said ``judicial excess'' is involved in recent rulings granting gays and lesbians new rights. ``The want more than just public acceptance of their lifestyle,'' he said. ``They want approval.''

An attorney, Graves is a staunch opponent of the homosexual lifestyle.

``According to the Holy Bible, homosexuality is an abomination in God's eyes,'' he said.

Graves' legislation was prompted by a Nov. 18 ruling of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court paving the way for gay marriages in that state.

An amendment to the U.S. Constitution to ban gay marriages has the backing of some congressional leaders and President Bush, but Graves said the issue should be handled by the states.

``I think the way to handle that on the federal level is for Congress to curb the jurisdiction of the federal courts to handle such matters,'' he said.

He said Congress has the authority to do that. ``They could take away their jurisdiction to handle matters like gay marriages, prayer in schools and the posting of the Ten Commandments'' in government buildings.

Rep. Mike O-Neal, R-Enid, also has proposed a constitutional ban on gay marriages in Oklahoma. O'Neal proposes a referendum that expressly defines a marriage as a union of a man and a woman.